Can I just start by saying OH YUM?
It’s sunny … and spring is trying to come along, but evenings still have a bit of a chill, and if you spend part of your life as far north as I do, it’s still DAMN chilly at night!
I wanted to make something warming, comforting, to satisfy after a long day of working, but still delicious, light and spring-like. Lemons always seem to make things bright and light. When I found this recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine in the December 2012 issue, I knew I had to make this, and that this dish would bring smiles all around. This quick and easy to put together dish did just the trick!
My finished photo is a little darker than I had hoped, but there’s a terrible reason, and my tale of woe is told below …
- 1 lemon
- 4 large or 8 small skin-on, boneless chicken thighs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 t olive oil, divided
- 3 sprigs oregano
- 1 T minced shallot
- 1/2 garlic clove, minced
- 1/8 t crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 C dry white wine
- 1/2 C low-sodium chicken broth
Preheat oven to 425°
Very thinly slice half of lemon; discard any seeds. Cut remaining lemon half into 2 wedges.
NOTE: I used more than HALF a lemon! I sliced one lemon thinly and then used half of a second one for wedges, but I am a bit of a sour person (no comments, please).
Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
Coat a large room-temperature skillet with 1 teaspoon oil. Add chicken, skin side down. Place skillet over medium heat and cook, letting skin render and brown, and pouring off excess fat to maintain a thin coating in pan, until chicken is cooked halfway through, about 10 minutes.
NOTE: This seemed to be more than 10 minutes. And, yes, pour off the excess fat, it makes a huge difference.
Scatter half the lemon slices on the bottom of skillet and half directly on top of the chicken (the slices on top of the chicken will soften; those in the skillet will caramelize).
NOTE: I put some of the slices directly under the chicken pieces. This may have softened the skin a bit too much, so next time I’ll just put it in the skillet.
Transfer skillet to oven, leaving chicken skin side down. Roast until chicken is cooked through, skin is crisp, and lemon slices on bottom of skillet are caramelized, 6-8 minutes.
NOTE: Again, this took longer than 6-8 minutes. Judge for yourself when the chicken is done.
Transfer chicken pieces, skin side up, and caramelized lemon slices from bottom of skillet to a warm platter. (Leave softened lemon slices in the skillet.)
Return skillet to medium heat. Add oregano sprigs, shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
NOTE: Now, do try to RESIST the urge to grab the skillet handle when you stir. It’s SERIOUSLY hot. It just came out of the oven, remember? How do I know this, you might ask? I grabbed it. I seriously burned my hand … was jumping around the kitchen HOWLING, tears streaming down my face, while being chased to get some first aid to my 4 burned fingers and palm (oh, when I do it, I do it good!). Thanks to some quick thinking, beaten egg whites, tons of burn cream being applied and reapplied and reapplied, a bandage of paper towels and duct tape (sorry I didn’t take a photo of this!) and a lot of TLC, I woke up the next morning without a single blister. I was lucky … THIS TIME! Thank you.
Remove skillet from heat. Add wine; cook over medium heat until reduced by half, 1-2 minutes. Add broth; cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Squeeze 1 lemon wedge over and season sauce with salt, pepper, and juice from remaining lemon wedge, if desired. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil.
Return chicken to skillet, skin side up, to rewarm. Serve topped with caramelized lemon slices.
NOTE: I served this with orzo seasoned with oregano and lemon zest and a salad. You definitely need bread, you won’t want to let a single drop of the sauce go to waste!